Supreme Court of the United States: 1898-1902


9 cards signed by the late 19th-early 20th century "Fuller Court", noted for its general conservatism faced with enormous social and business changes


Autograph ID: 6251
Condition: Very good, some with light toning at margin, White's has an ink blot on the "h" of his signature
Description: “MELVILLE FULLER (1833-1910) Chief Justice 1888-1910. Wrote 1895 opinion in U.S. v. E. C. Knight Co. holding Sherman Antitrust Act did not outlaw monopolies in manufacturing, also struck down 1st general personal income tax, and held that union “secondary boycotts” violated antitrust laws. Served on Venezuala Boundary Commission and 10 years on Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague while Chief Justice. He introduced custom of having justices shake hands before conferences or going on the bench. JOHN M. HARLAN (1833-1911) Associate Justice 1877-1911. Most notable as the lone dissenter in The Civil Rights Cases (1883), and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which, respectively, struck down federal anti-discrimination legislation and upheld Southern segregation statutes. He dissented in Giles v. Harris (1903), a case challenging use of grandfather clauses to restrict voting rolls and de facto exclude Blacks. While on the Court, he taught constitutional law at the Columbian Law School (later the law school of George Washington University). He was the first justice to argue that the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights (making rights guarantees applicable to individual states), in Hurtado v. California (1884). HORACE GRAY (1828-1902) Associate Justice 1882-1902. 1st Justice to hire a law clerk, using his own funds to pay the clerk's salary. Probably his most famous opinion is Mutual Life Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Hillmon (1892), which held that a declarant's out-of-court statement of his intention to do something or go somewhere in the future is admissible under the "state-of-mind" hearsay exception. This holding is now codfied in Rule 803(3) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, as well as the evidence law in most states. Gray also authored the 1898 right to citizenship case, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, and also sided with the majority in the Plessy v. Ferguson which upheld racial segregation. DAVID BREWER (1837-1910) Assoc. Justice 1889-1910. Nephew of Justice Stephen J. Field, Yale classmate of Justice Henry B. Brown. He was a major contributor to the doctrine of substantive due process, arguing that certain activities are entirely outside government control. He frequently sided with the Court's majorities that struck down property rights restrictions. He took temporary leave to become President of the U.S. Commission on the Boundary Between Venezuela and British Guiana, established by Congress to arbitrate in the Venezuela Crisis of 1895. He authoed the unanimous opinion in Muller v. Oregon (1908) in support of a law restricting working hours for women. He was also the author of In re Debs, upholding federal injunctions to suppress labor strikes. HENRY B. BROWN (1836-1913) Associate Justice 1891-1906, authored Court majority opinion in, which upheld the Plessy v. Ferguson legality of racial segregation in public transportation. He was generally unwilling to allow government intervention in business, and concurred with the majority opinion in Lochner v. New York striking down a limitation on maximum working hours. He supported the federal income tax in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. (1895). GEORGE SHIRAS JR. (1832-1924) Only Justice to date to have no record of public (political, governmental or judicial) service. Although he wrote 253 majority decisions and 14 dissents, he is noted for his votes on 2 landmark cases, Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. (1895), and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). He sided with the majority in Pollock to strike down the Income Tax Act of 1894 as unconstitutional. Pollock led to 1913 ratification of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. He also voted with the majority in the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson case which upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine, not overruled until 1954. EDWARD D. WHITE JR. (1844-1921) Louisiana US senator, Associate Justice 1894-1910, 9th Chief Justice 1910-21. One of 3 ex-CSA soldiers to serve on the Supreme Court. In 1896 he sided with majority in Plessy v. Ferguson which approved segregation. In 1910, he was elevated to Chief Justice by President Taft,, 1st Associate Justice appointed Chief Justice since John Rutledge in 1795. Generally one of the more conservative members of the Court, he wrote the 1916 decision upholding the Adamson Act which mandated a maximum 8-hour work day for railroad employees. White wrote for a unanimous Court in Guinn v. US (1915), which invalidated the Oklahoma and Maryland grandfather clauses that disenfranchised Blacks. In 1918, the Selective Draft Law Cases upheld the Selective Service Act of 1917, and more generally, upheld conscription in the US. He formulated the “Rule of Reason” standard in antitrust law. His statue is one of the 2 honoring Louisiana natives in the National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. RUFUS PECKHAM (1838-1909) Associate Justice 1896-1909, known for strong use of substantive due process to invalidate regulations of business and property. His most notorious opinion was in Lochner v. New York (1905) where the Court invalidated a limitation on bakers' working hours to 60 per week as contrary to the right to freely contract, and as being unnecessary to protect health and safety. He had an expansive interpretation of the Sherman antitrust law, which he saw as protecting small businessmen against unfair corporate competition. Opposed civil rights for African Americans and upheld Jim Crow laws, most notably in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) in which he joined the majority. However, he and Justice Brewer usually voted in favor of Chinese litigants in many immigration cases that came before the Court. JOSEPH McKENNA (1843–1926) Associate Justice 1898–1925. US Attorney General 1897-98, appointed to the Court by McKinley. Most notable opinion was in U.S. v. U.S. Steel Corporation (1920 )in which the “rule of reason” principle, asserting that only those combinations that are in unreasonable restraint of trade are illegal, finally triumphed in antitrust cases.

8 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 cards signed by the 1898-1902 members of the Supreme Court: Melville Fuller signed on the verso of his smaller 1 1/2 x 3 1/4 engraved "The Chief Justice" calling card; all sign with their titles except Gray; Shiras and Brewer add Jan. 1899 date.”
Type: Signed cards

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